INDIANAPOLIS - The No. 21-ranked Marian University women's tennis team could smell an upset, but could not overcome No. 18-ranked Olivet Nazarene University in an 8-1 defeat on Saturday at the MU Tennis Courts.
The Knights fell to 15-8 overall, while ONU improved to 7-6. The defeat likely shattered MU's hopes of an at-large bid to the 2013 NAIA Women's Tennis National Championships in May.
After dropping the three doubles contests to open the match, the Knights led in all six singles matches before dropping five of the six with all but two of the six matches going to a decisive third set.
Freshman Hannah Elliott
earned MU's lone victory after she scored a straight-set victory at No. 5 singles, 7-6 (8-6), 6-0. Junior Lauren Paras
fell at No. 4 singles in straight sets, 2-6, 4-6, to give ONU a 4-0 lead. Elliott's win made it 4-1 and that was when it began to get interesting.
At No. 1 singles, junior Brittney Horlacher
earned a 6-4 win in the opening set and carried a 5-4 lead to match point in the second set, but was unable to close out the straight-sets win. Aziza Butoyi came back to win the second set 7-6 (7-4) and, eventually, earned a 6-4 win in the decisive set.
Sophomore Sarah Potter
also won the first set by a 6-3 score at No. 2 singles, but could not overcome a lingering illness as she fell in sets two and three by matching 6-2 scores. Junior Olivia Pursell
also earned a 6-3 win in the opening set at No. 3 singles, but fell in the final two sets by matching 6-2 scores to give ONU more than enough for the team win.
Senior Tiffany Schendel
also won the opening set of her match at No. 6 singles by a 6-4 score before dropping the final two sets by 6-3 and 7-5 scores to give ONU the 8-1 win.
The Knights will travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., on Friday to take on IPFW at 4 p.m.